Minnesota education commissioner resigns, Walz appoints deputy to head the department

Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz accepted the resignation of Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker and appointed MDE Deputy Commissioner Heather Mueller to head the department.

Ricker said she wants to spend more time in the classroom with students. Mueller will officially take over on April 1.

"It is an honor to step into the role of Commissioner of Education and to continue serving our students, families, educators, state librarians, and school communities," Mueller said. "Minnesota’s students and teachers have shown resiliency and perseverance this past year, and I look forward to partnering with our school communities to meet their diverse needs as we recover from this pandemic and continue building the best education system in the nation for each and every student in Minnesota."

Walz also thanked Ricker for her service, stating, "For her entire career, Mary Cathryn Ricker has been dedicated to Minnesota’s students and families, and this year, more than ever, I am grateful for her leadership in navigating this unprecedented time as we asked our school communities to do the unimaginable. Her service to the Department of Education and to our administration will be missed, but I know our state’s students will continue to benefit from her leadership."